1 (edited by hd_scania 2017-11-06 04:56:31)

Topic: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

Debian has stated itself respecting ‘‘software freedom’’, but broadly tolerates nonfree derivatives (like Ubuntu) and mirroring nonfree repo (for ones like needing nonfree drivers), like a BSD-like license the Deb DFSG needs to be also a permissive license, at least under a GNU viewpoint right?

2

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

the dfsg isnt a license, its guidelines for inclusion in debian. i believe the fsf now calls their fully free distro guidelines by a similar acronym.

fun fact: the osi open software definition is based on the dfsg. i believe bruce perens wrote the dfsg, he also co-founded osi-- he hoped open source would be a way to promote free software.

about a year later, he stepped down and sent an open letter to the debian mailing lists titled "its time to talk about free software again." my feeling about open source (my disappointment in it) is similar to what perens feels, but he is still involved with it, sometimes being on their board or at least trying to get reelected.

he has also been a debian project leader, possibly the 2nd or 4th but certainly one of the early ones.

https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/1 … 01641.html

3 (edited by throgh 2018-11-03 00:50:30)

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

Feeling and thinking the same: That's also the reason I reject using Debian in private areas. This pragmatism, those bad and false compromises included, ruins all the way of "free, libre software" besides the fact watching people building more a culture just for their own good instead for the greater good of literally all participants and users.

4 (edited by freemedia 2018-11-03 02:09:17)

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

this is where what i think about "drawbridges" comes in: https://forums.hyperbola.info/viewtopic.php?id=136

one thing free software advocates can afford to be honest about is that even the fsf is pragmatic sometimes. it made a strategic compromise with the lgpl, which it justifies in an essay where it talks about pragmatism-- and just how easy it is to go too far with it.

im fine with the fsf saying "you can easily go too far with pragmatism" and i think as an organisation theyre very honest and straightforward about it-- more than open source, which tries to look cool by appearing to have fewer rules.

the fsf can actually afford to have fewer rules, while they appear to have more-- because their rules are pretty much all written ones. most of the unwritten rules in free software are misunderstandings about what the fsf wants.

but open source has more unwritten rules-- like the unwritten rule that you have to bash any attempt to talk about freedom, while constantly overreacting to political differences as unnecessary political quibbling (as if those differences were invented by free software, not by open source.)

so i have grown to have very little respect for open source.

that said-- the fsf is pragmatic sometimes, i agree that its very easy to go too far (i dont think the fsf has, though i find their take on turning non-free firmware into anything else by simply making it so you cant do firmware updates a bit troubling, even if it seems logical enough) and either way, open source takes pretty much everything non-free and relabels it "pragmatic" because thats what their corporate masters want.

with all that said--

the fsf enjoys having the authoritative voice on what pragmatic choices are worthwhile, simply because their position has continuously had the most merit. i think that makes perfect sense, even though they do not have a monopoly on the issue.

with their track record, i think people are wise to take their position seriously, but even the pope is considered fallible when hes not on the throne of st. peter. higher up still, even the most perfect and flawless authority in the most orthodox of western beliefs has created ample room for everyone else to screw up sometimes. so i dont think the fsf can have a monopoly on how much pragmatism is "just right," even if they have the first say with the best track record.

in reality, freedom is something everyone is working to push forward on, so the only people who are 100% free in their computing are the ones who own and use zero computers. everyone is pragmatic, a little bit.  and i think just like in orthodoxy, the actual levels of observance vary a little more than people are straightforward about-- whether talking about their own uses, or the positions/practices of the fsf.

it is a much higher standard though, and i think if we dont have a pretty high standard then open source turns it into "anything goes" which is about as pragmatic as saying "well, at least this set of handcuffs is plastic so its much easier to remove."

with open source, there is no serious difference between free and non-free. they present their written rules, they have loads more unwritten rules, which end up rewriting all (and sometimes negating) their written ones. we can all probably do better than that.

credit where credit is due though-- i thought for something with non-free included (and not by default,) debian since 6 was probably the most free of that breed. id even say "only the fully free distros were better" in this regard. is there an exception to this i havent considered yet?

actually, im not counting the incoming-distros page on libreplanet. connochaet os is better than debian in this regard. rms gnu/linux was better than debian in this regard. so i guess:

1. fully free without systemd
2. connochaet os / fully free with systemd
3. debian 6 and 7
4. debian 8 and later
5. debian 5 and previous

but this list is for the sake of argument, and very open to amendments.

note that debian included non-free firmware in 5.0, but didnt have systemd, which means that devuan (with its non-free firmware on the install iso) actually occupies a level equal with 5 on this list.

perhaps 4.5, because it is still easier to remove than it was in debian 5. ive got a script that brings the devuan live iso from the 5 position on this list all the way up to 3.

to go higher, youd need your own repos. gnuinos (not updated recently) takes devuan up to 2 or 1, but rms says the fsf wont add a fully free distro that isnt being actively developed.

my justification for saying its less free if it has systemd is that i still consider systemd to be an eee tactic. assuming this is even possible: free software + eee = less free, at best. i dont think the fsf fully acknowledges that this is possible. like i said, theyre not infallible.

if more people recognised that, they could theoretically work together to make up for the difference. which is of course, something hyperbola is part of.

5 (edited by throgh 2018-11-03 10:34:46)

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

Thanks for the thoughts. I find Debian itself from the package structure very strict. Even though understandable but the last time checked I was even not able to remove systemd from Trisquel 8. The complete system would destroy itself with its basics otherwise, just from the packages removed throughout dependencies. That's too much and comparing this to Parabola for example where I could remove single packages this is more the way I think freedom should go. But that's only my intention and view, the more problematic side: Hardware itself is getting more and more unfree in its boundaries. Just talking about UEFI, Secure-Boot and more literally buzzwords. I remember the outcome when Microsoft tried these for the first time: Harsh criticism. But today? Free systems with Libreboot or for compromise systems with Coreboot including blobs on its way - not good but more in some direction - are in the minority when talking about. And I think this should be a complete approach: Free, libre software on free hardware - as free as possible. Just as a sidenote, because otherwise off-topic.

6 (edited by freemedia 2018-11-03 13:36:47)

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

Thanks for the thoughts. I find Debian itself from the package structure very strict. Even though understandable but the last time checked I was even not able to remove systemd from Trisquel 8.

oh then let me introduce distro-libre, a program that automatically removes systemd in chroot from the trisquel 8 and debian 9.5 live isos: https://notabug.org/figosdev/figos/raw/ … ibre02.fig

you keep feeding me these opportunities and people are going to think i am you, know you, or pay you. at least they should be able to tell on closer inspection that the first one isnt so. the other two are safe to deny since they arent true either. and the latter i couldnt afford, but thank you.

but i agree about the packages! in fact i tried to describe on the trisquel forum three levels of problem for systemd, which i hardly thought were controversial:

1. package level dependency
2. compile (and recompile) level dependency
3. actual (requires writing/rewriting code) dependency

so the first one (even if rare) can be fixed sometimes just by moving from a dep to a recommend. apt doesnt make this easy but it doesnt make it awful for the sake of it. i hope.

maybe people realised this when they changed the defaults from do not include recommended to include recommeded around the time all this shuffling was going on. not necessarily a conspiracy, but it sure seemed dirty and foolish. no love for this move from debian-- but, distro-libre could fix that too.

they also changed (after 10 or 20 years) the way that pinning works, so most in-place pins were rendered inert. that was seriously dirty.


The complete system would destroy itself with its basics otherwise, just from the packages removed throughout dependencies. That's too much and comparing this to Parabola for example where I could remove single packages this is more the way I think freedom should go.

the problem is that arch is just too difficult. i know, i used it years ago and im getting back into it. apt is going to stay more popular, but we should still replace it.

but im in favour of being friendlier than pacman (thats not hard to do, i keep meaning to make a friendlier command-line frontend for it. and i hate using it otherwise) and giving more control than apt.

ive similarly thought of making a frontend for apt that gives you the option of breaking packages if you really want to.

But that's only my intention and view, the more problematic side: Hardware itself is getting more and more unfree in its boundaries. Just talking about UEFI, Secure-Boot and more literally buzzwords.

this is another point i made at the trisquel forums. but we were all making that point. more than 6 years ago i asked alex oliva what laptop to get, he recommended a lemote. i got one. but after a year or two i gave it away.

And I think this should be a complete approach: Free, libre software on free hardware - as free as possible. Just as a sidenote, because otherwise off-topic.

this topic started off as being one that not many people were going to comment on. its extremely specific and also very peripheral to hyperbola (the dfsg relate to a distro that isnt even in the same family.)

but if the op (or admin) complains we can knock it off. i dont think this board is getting used enough, speaking personally i appreciate your participation even if it was (and could sometimes be) a bit rocky at first. (full responsibility for my part in that.)

heres the biggest problem with free software i know-- and im not saying its free softwares fault, and im certainly not saying "gosh, if only the software wasnt free-as-in-freedom"-- im not saying freedom is the cause of this problem, just that this affects free software:

when you have something that fits its own purpose, and solves the problem it sets out to solve, people are very intent on you bending to it-- if pacman doesnt suit your usage at all, people think you should just learn how to use it.

its the "dont reinvent the wheel" argument, but suppose you have giant stone wheels. if your wagon is made of plywood, those wheels wont fit. theyll tear your wagon apart.

when you point this out (not because you expect someone to "get right on that" and make you new wheels, but as justification for looking elsewhere) the prevailing attitude is:

"why dont you just get a better wagon? then you can use our wheels, which are better anyway."

this attitude reached a new plateau with systemd, though you can find it in the freest of the fully free communities. debian has done it, trisquel has done it, and devuan is doing it. to me, its a contradiction. (i can also name a few distros that avoid leaning on this. hyperbola seems very level and down to earth in this regard.)

but getting back to the metaphor, the best wheels in this situation are probably the ones that fit the wagon-- theyre probably wooden and have spokes.

theres nothing stopping anyone here-- including the wagon owner from going elsewhere. its just the prevailing attitude (in general, not necessarily here) that: if your wagon doesnt fit our wheels, you should probably just get a new wagon.

but i could list a slew of arguments in defense of that attitude. its just not reasonable all the time.

my answer of course, is to make hybrid wheels that start with a wooden base layer and incorporate optional stone reinforcements. though i have nothing against either of the other types. i like the stone reinforcement idea because you dont even have to lift the wagon up to make the wheels heavier-duty. you can attach them without removing the wheels you started with.

this metaphor has reached its limit of course, unless the axles were designed in foresight of this upgrade. or you would still have to change those, as well as the bearings. but in the software world, we do crazy stuff like this all the time. indeed, we retrofit unicode to a 7-bit standard used in mostly-analogue teletype machines!

as far as being more flexible than apt, that is the one thing i do recall admiring about pacman, in the days when connochaet os and trisquel were fairly new.

p.s. none of this is a comment on the idea that you should invest in a free-software-supported wifi adapter. its not the same thing as what im saying-- what im talking about is a lot more manageable than writing drivers and firmware for every wifi adapter, or people would have already done that.

we dont benefit from having fewer free drivers, my argument is that the benefits of having fewer software solutions are vastly exaggerated by the relatively few people who really stand to benefit. not to negate the overwhelming nature of choice, which is real-- but everyone wants more choice when they arent happy with the ones they have, they simply dont care if anybody else is happy with whats available to them.

that could stand to change a bit. the easy way is to pay people to care about how happy you are, but sometimes we get more done when we do it for free. if i was getting paid for the things i do for free, id probably be looking for a way out of them a lot sooner.

what, youre unhappy with this software? its free, stop complaining (and giving us valuable data in exchange for our software.)

what youre unhappy with your job? youre getting paid, stop complaining (and giving us valuable data on how to become a company more people want to come work for.)

some of it really is abuse, some of it is thankless and a lot of it even is wrong, but the knee-jerk reactions can also be wrong and they throw away good critiques with the thoughtless ones. thats how reflexes work-- not as careful evaluation but as flinching at anything that comes your way. so we continue to throw away most of the ideas that we could use to improve our software unless we can think up the same critiques on our own (not that we are biased, or anything.)

im very grateful to say once again, there are exceptions. my comment is really on how they are much too rare, while the rest of the potential is just potential, which is not being put to use.

7

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

freemedia wrote:

oh then let me introduce distro-libre, a program that automatically removes systemd in chroot from the trisquel 8 and debian 9.5 live isos: https://notabug.org/figosdev/figos/raw/ … ibre02.fig

you keep feeding me these opportunities and people are going to think i am you, know you, or pay you. at least they should be able to tell on closer inspection that the first one isnt so. the other two are safe to deny since they arent true either. and the latter i couldnt afford, but thank you.

but i agree about the packages! in fact i tried to describe on the trisquel forum three levels of problem for systemd, which i hardly thought were controversial:

1. package level dependency
2. compile (and recompile) level dependency
3. actual (requires writing/rewriting code) dependency

so the first one (even if rare) can be fixed sometimes just by moving from a dep to a recommend. apt doesnt make this easy but it doesnt make it awful for the sake of it. i hope.

maybe people realised this when they changed the defaults from do not include recommended to include recommeded around the time all this shuffling was going on. not necessarily a conspiracy, but it sure seemed dirty and foolish. no love for this move from debian-- but, distro-libre could fix that too.

they also changed (after 10 or 20 years) the way that pinning works, so most in-place pins were rendered inert. that was seriously dirty.

Very cool and big thanks from my side. My time with Debian or better to say with derivates was a little bit shorter. Also tried out SuSE Linux and Corel Linux back the days. I'd stayed around Devuan, but discovering Parabola two years back was for me the key. Of course first with systemd but then with modification to OpenRC. I've also made a video about the installation (https://openstreamer.org/podcasts/open- … stallation) and modification (https://openstreamer.org/podcasts/open- … dification). By the way this would be another topic because the mentioned website is hosted by myself and I want to migrate it to Hyperbola with MediaGoblin next year. The reason? MediaDrop is "free software" but is using Flash for uploading and this is too much for the future, from my point of view. Plumi would be an alternative.

this is another point i made at the trisquel forums. but we were all making that point. more than 6 years ago i asked alex oliva what laptop to get, he recommended a lemote. i got one. but after a year or two i gave it away.

Really? That's a pity. What I've learned within the last two or three years that older hardware is more interesting. Therefore also older ThinkPad-generations with Libreboot or at minimum Coreboot are interesting and nice for usage with free, libre software.

this topic started off as being one that not many people were going to comment on. its extremely specific and also very peripheral to hyperbola (the dfsg relate to a distro that isnt even in the same family.)

but if the op (or admin) complains we can knock it off. i dont think this board is getting used enough, speaking personally i appreciate your participation even if it was (and could sometimes be) a bit rocky at first. (full responsibility for my part in that.)

I think we both found our way and to be honest: My words were really not helpful and rough for the start. Sorry for that: I was really disappointed in some way from those decentralized networks and mentioned this already later. Would be better to have done this at starting point so "I'm tired" is just for those "social networks" with the chance to be social but being just the opposite of that. Until then it is me deepest thought that free culture is the way to go for the global community. Talking and learning with and for each other!

heres the biggest problem with free software i know-- and im not saying its free softwares fault, and im certainly not saying "gosh, if only the software wasnt free-as-in-freedom"-- im not saying freedom is the cause of this problem, just that this affects free software:

when you have something that fits its own purpose, and solves the problem it sets out to solve, people are very intent on you bending to it-- if pacman doesnt suit your usage at all, people think you should just learn how to use it.

its the "dont reinvent the wheel" argument, but suppose you have giant stone wheels. if your wagon is made of plywood, those wheels wont fit. theyll tear your wagon apart.

when you point this out (not because you expect someone to "get right on that" and make you new wheels, but as justification for looking elsewhere) the prevailing attitude is:

"why dont you just get a better wagon? then you can use our wheels, which are better anyway."

this attitude reached a new plateau with systemd, though you can find it in the freest of the fully free communities. debian has done it, trisquel has done it, and devuan is doing it. to me, its a contradiction. (i can also name a few distros that avoid leaning on this. hyperbola seems very level and down to earth in this regard.)

but getting back to the metaphor, the best wheels in this situation are probably the ones that fit the wagon-- theyre probably wooden and have spokes.

theres nothing stopping anyone here-- including the wagon owner from going elsewhere. its just the prevailing attitude (in general, not necessarily here) that: if your wagon doesnt fit our wheels, you should probably just get a new wagon.

but i could list a slew of arguments in defense of that attitude. its just not reasonable all the time.

my answer of course, is to make hybrid wheels that start with a wooden base layer and incorporate optional stone reinforcements. though i have nothing against either of the other types. i like the stone reinforcement idea because you dont even have to lift the wagon up to make the wheels heavier-duty. you can attach them without removing the wheels you started with.

this metaphor has reached its limit of course, unless the axles were designed in foresight of this upgrade. or you would still have to change those, as well as the bearings. but in the software world, we do crazy stuff like this all the time. indeed, we retrofit unicode to a 7-bit standard used in mostly-analogue teletype machines!

as far as being more flexible than apt, that is the one thing i do recall admiring about pacman, in the days when connochaet os and trisquel were fairly new.

p.s. none of this is a comment on the idea that you should invest in a free-software-supported wifi adapter. its not the same thing as what im saying-- what im talking about is a lot more manageable than writing drivers and firmware for every wifi adapter, or people would have already done that.

Interesting point: Thanks for sharing this perspective. I had until now the view that using the basics of the distribution would be not a problem. But I find the complete infrastructure of GNU-Linux interesting and I'm completely curious to discover more about it: Perhaps GUIX? Or others?

8 (edited by freemedia 2018-11-03 15:53:18)

Re: Deb DFSG: Just an permissisve license like BSD?

in theory im very excited about guix, i downloded the binary recently hoping to make it an option (or even a default) for every distro in distro-libre.

im interested in every sort of distro-agnostic solution, to refracta-tools and/or calamares for remastering and installing (refracta-tools is closer to what i want, but theyre both useful in more than one distro family) to guix for package management, icecat (or iceweasel-uxp) for browsing, etc.

the fewer tools designed for a single distro the better. i mean, most are not designed for a single distro-- and its perfectly alright if at some stage the original dev focuses on a single distro, but the ideal (according to what i personally consider ideal) would be for every distro to maintain its modularity to the point where ultimately no tools are distro-specific.

suppose we made a little gui control panel app, just for hyperbola. seems unlikely since it doesnt come with a gui, maybe there is a tui version.

initially, the dev could focus on hyperbola. lets for the sake of argument assume that no original developer has the time or interest in making it fit any other distros-- that means this idea involves at least one initial dev and one that is downstream (or a peer in the same community.)

theres no mandate here for someone to pick that up and start applying it to other distros, but for the moment lets assume someone is interested in making it a little less distro-specific. maybe it finds its way to another distro, either way it is packaged for that. lots of ways to do that. burden neednt ever be assumed to be on the initial dev, who has a distro to maintain.

but its a plus for freedom. nothing wrong with integration in moderation, i simply think too many tightly integrated tools (such as systemd) are bad for this business, and distros are guilty because no one says "lets make this distro the opposite of what systemd is like."

at least not yet, but i still think thats ideal. as for free culture-- the fsf cant misrepresent it im told, because it never claimed to represent it. however, thats not how misrepresentation actually works. i consider free culture to be of similar importance to free software. if theyre entirely different things, its in scope and scale, not nature as the special pleading argument goes.

like paley, i dont consider software to have a monopoly on "utility." i get the argument, at least i think so-- but i dont agree. i have always considered the line between data and program to be partly superficial. so thats an outcome of von neumann architecture, or he considered it because it was already a reasonable generalisation.

sure, there are differences. but with html 2 for example, any keyword could be a tag. and any word could also be the identifier for a function call or method or part of an api. so how do we know any bit of text couldnt potentially be software?

not my only argument along such lines, but the one that points to how narrow the distinction is. sure, there are some easy counterarguments, but the easy ones also miss the point that the line is so narrow.

i think it should be treated as such. if theres a possibility that a program could be non-free for a century due to be mistaken for a work of opinion, shouldnt we err on the side of caution? what is so sacred about an opinion that it needs to be proprietary?

copyright doesnt "protect" works, and besides, most free licenses dont change copyright. so the entire argument seems to be "software is different." cool, and that makes exactly zero argument for keeping works of opinion non-free.

one person thinks there is no need, in the face of countless people who do-- but that one person is respected by a lot of people who are willing to follow him simply based on this non-sequitur of an "argument." its an awful shame, because the need he negates is far better presented than the lack he implies but doesnt argue. it seems very much more like ignoring the point than refuting it.

free culture: "here are a long list of reasons why cultural works should be free."

rms: "pooh-pooh, software is different than works of opinion. now to put this argument on every page on the fsf website and discourage the use of free culture licenses for a suprisingly arbitrary and extremely broad, fairly vague category of work."

me: "im withdrawing my membership. though i will still represent your free software goals as much as i still care about them now. let me know if you change your position."

we know thats not going to happen. it was never necessary for the fsf site to be used this way, and the pointless damage to free culture done by this is evident in roughly every other site associated (even unofficially) with the fsf, including this one: https://wiki.hyperbola.info/doku.php?id … l_contract

a social contract, as it happens, is precisely the alternative that makes "verbatim copying only" completely unnecessary. that, and the reality of the legal landscape both at present, as well as prior to this absurd maximal copyright regime given to us by jack valenti, as well as any point between the two. but lets throw a huge pointless wrench into free culture just for fun, while saying we support it.

i mean, is it "misrepresenting" free culture yet, or do we also have to spray paint graffiti on portraits of its mother?

probably my largest pet peeve about the entire free software movement. and it could (and possibly should) be completely tangential. as in this shouldnt be something free software does at all. it gains nothing from doing this to free culture. not one thing. it is a pointless hobble, like saying grep should handle the first 32767 lines of a stream.

Avoid arbitrary limits on the length or number of any data structure, including file names, lines, files, and symbols, by allocating all data structures dynamically. In most Unix utilities, “long lines are silently truncated”. This is not acceptable in a GNU utility.

https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/stan … #Semantics

Works that express someone's opinion—memoirs, editorials, and so on—serve a fundamentally different purpose than works for practical use like software and documentation. Because of this, we expect them to provide recipients with a different set of permissions: just the permission to copy and distribute the work verbatim. Richard Stallman discusses this frequently in his speeches.

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-li … onLicenses

this contains no justification for the limit itself, it is a non-sequitur.

"yellow is used symbolically to encourage caution; therefore, bananas are a good source of potassium."

there is no false premise, there is no false conclusion. works of opinion in some (possibly relevant, possibly irrelevant) ways can be said to be different.

the statement the fsf makes as a result of that premise is also true. whats false is that there is any logic or argument between the premise and conclusion. there isnt one.

so when this is not a requirement for being a fully free distro, why does every free distro pick up the torch and run across the internet saying "use verbatim copying only for this!" this doesnt need to be on every fsf page. it doesnt need to be on every fsf fansite. but for whatever reason, the meme is found everywhere the fsf touches. spread dutifully without cause, requirement, justification or argument. when questioned, everyone just repeats what i quoted here.

open source does this to free softwares arguments: "dont open source anything of core value to your business." isnt that a shame? isnt it a pointless limitation of software freedom? arent the arguments for free software better than the ones against?

or does it matter either way if open source says that, and then later says "we support free software, by golly, we are practically the same thing!"

stop the fsf from misrepresenting free culture-- which it does by reframing it and negating its causes arbitrarily and without real justification.